Iwanenko takes command of Officer Training School

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tyrique Barquet
  • Air University

Col. Derrick J. Iwanenko accepted command as commandant of Officer Training School from Col. Keolani Bailey during a change of command ceremony, Dec. 15, 2023.

Brig. Gen. Houston Cantwell, commander of the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, officiated the ceremony. 

“As a team, we overcame significant challenges to transform OTS and build better warriors, wingmen, and leaders,” said Bailey.  “I’m confident that ‘Neko’ (Iwanenko) and Team OTS will continue to innovate and elevate to become the premier leader-development institution within the profession of arms.”

Bailey, Iwanenko, and the entire OTS team worked closely together to design and implement the new OTS-Victory course. A five-modular approach designed to develop warrior-minded leaders of character, committed to their oath, values and creed.

As Iwanenko steps into the role, he inherits the responsibility of leading OTS through this period of change. He praised Bailey's leadership and acknowledged the dedicated work of the entire OTS team in bringing the OTS-Victory program to life.

“We've been working really hard as a command team,” said Iwanenko, who previously served as the OTS deputy commandant. “The courses are built to get the best out of every single person here, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to continue to advance what we’ve already built.”

Iwanenko also spoke about the impact OTS has on more than just the officer trainees.

“Everyone that dedicates themselves to this team and mission will experience a transformative leadership-development experience,” he said. “I’m deeply honored to serve and lead our Officer Training School professionals. As we continue to shape the future of Air Force leadership, I am excited to contribute to and advance the ongoing legacy of excellence at OTS.”